US Consulate Staffer Killed in Protest in Libya

Posted September 11th, 2012 at 7:55 pm (UTC-5)
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A U.S. national was killed and another wounded Tuesday in Libya as a group of militants attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, during a protest against a film they say offends Islam.

An angry mob gathered outside the consulate and set fire to the building.

The U.S. State Department confirmed the attack and said that the government is working with Libyans to secure the compound. A statement said the U.S. condemns “in strongest terms this attack on our diplomatic mission.”

Anti-U.S. demonstrations against the film were also held outside the U.S. embassy in Egypt's capital, Cairo. Protesters in both countries say the U.S.-made film is offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

At least 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside the embassy in the Egyptian capital, including Salafist Muslims and feisty soccer fans who were involved in the political protests that brought down the former government. A group of protesters breached the wall, pulled down the U.S. flag and replaced it with an Islamic banner. Demonstrations continued into the evening.

An official at the embassy told VOA that no guns were drawn and no shots were fired during the incident. He said all the employees on the compound were safe.

It is not clear if the two incidents were coordinated.

Media reports say the film about the prophet was financed by expatriate members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority group.

The protests coincide with the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.